William Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona in the complete original text.
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Two Gentlemen of Verona

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The Two Gentlemen of Verona Play

The Two Gentlemen of Verona begins with Valentine and Proteus travelling from Verona to Milan, Valentine heading for Milan to serve in the Duke of Milan's court. Proteus joins his friend with his servant Launce, but would rather be with Julia, the women he loves and whom secretly loves him as well. Proteus is heading for the court because his father has decided it is time for his son to make a living. In Milan, Valentine falls in love with Silvia, the Duke of Milan's daughter but unfortunately for the two lovers, Silvia is to marry wealthy courtier Thurio instead. Valentine and Silvia therefore prepare to elope but Valentine reveals his plans to Proteus who is also in love with Silvia and who decides to tell the Duke of the elopement plan to have Silvia all to himself. Valentine suspects his friend loves Silvia, but Proteus denies this, hiding his true feelings but questioning the morality of loving his best friend's love...

The Duke, learning of Valentine's deception, immediately banishes him. Seizing the opportunity, Proteus tells Valentine that he will act as an intermediary between Valentine and Silvia, even servant Launce suspecting Proteus is after Silvia... Learning of Silvia's depression of Valentine's banishment, Proteus defames Valentine to cheer up the Duke's daughter. This gesture fails, but leads to Proteus rising ever higher in the Duke's esteem, even becoming a trusted confidant concearning Silvia and Thurio, the man Silvia is still intended for. Meanwhile, the banished Valentine befriends and eventually becomes the leader of a group of criminals who live in a neaby forest. Julia, Proteus' original love arrives in Milan disguised as a young male page to find her love Proteus. Proteus' courting, however is failing, his defaming of Valentine only angers Silvia more and more whilst making her love of Valentine ever stronger. Thurio too continues to court the very uninterested Silvia; she cares for Valentine alone, not Proteus or Thurio. Proteus continues courting Silvia, not realising the page (Sebastian) he sends to communicate his wishes to Silvia is none other than Julia, still disguised as a page! Julia, still in love with Proteus, resolves to win him back. Meanwhile, Silvia, still yearning Valentine, flees Milan for the forest only to taken hostage by Valentine's gang.

The Duke of Milan, learning of his daughters fate, sends would be husband Thurio and confidant Proteus to rescue Silvia. Proteus gets to Silvia first before Silvia can discover the gangs leader, her love, Valentine. Valentine hides in nearby bushes whilst Proteus with the disguised Julia in tow, declares his devotion for Silvia. Valentine even overhears Proteus continuing to bad mouth him and Silvia's continued contempt for Proteus, her rescuer! Valentine reveals himself, rescues Silvia, Proteus apologizing in shame for what he has said and done to Valentine. The two make peace, Valentine even offering Silvia to Proteus. Julia, seeing this, feints, Proteus now realising Julia has known all along about his pursuit of Silvia... Proteus rediscovers his love for Julia. The Duke of Milan arrives with Thurio as prisoners of Valentine's gang, Thurio dropping his resolve to marry Silvia when threatened by the possibility of having to fight Valentine. The Duke is unimpressed with Thurio's cowardice. Thus the play ends with Silvia being granted the right to marry Valentine, Proteus planning on marrying Julia and Valentine's band of criminals being granted a pardon by the Duke.


Dramatis Personæ

Act I
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III

Act II
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V, Scene VI, Scene VII

Scene I, Scene II

Act IV
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

Act V
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

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